We all like to think we take care of our teeth but how often do we get to the dentist? The recommended check-up is once every six months – but if pressed I would have to confess once a year is my standard. And there is a reason for this, about sixty per cent of adults experience “dental anxiety”, and between 5-10% experience acute dental phobia that prevents them from attending regular check-ups. Providers of Airflow Dental Technology are hoping to change that with a gentler and more effective cleaning solution that has been referred to as a “facial for the teeth and gums.” I booked in to see what all the fuss was about.
My shoddy dental attendance is more to do with laziness than phobia – it’s just one of the least fun beauty and health treatments you can get. It’s strange to think I spend more time and money on manicures, hair appointments, and facials than I do on this critical health issue. So, my interest was piqued when I was invited to try the new Airflow Dental Technology at Macquarie Street Dental. Airflow promises a comfortable deep-clean – sans scraping. It is being touted as the perfect solution for those scared of traditional dental tools, or who experience hypersensitive gums and teeth.
Airflow Dental Technology offers a deep cleanse without the more abrasive methods of teeth cleaning (I, for one, can’t stand the sensation of the scalpel on the tooth!) It uses a combination of air, warm water, and ultrafine powder to gently buff away plaque, calculus, and stains.
The Airflow process starts with an assessment. I asked Dental Nurse, Karen what the most common patient problems are and she said simply “setting aside the time”. “Any patient can tell me how long they are meant to brush their teeth for and how often they are meant to floss but when it comes to putting it into practice people find it hard to set aside the time…” something immediately obvious when they take a seat in the dentist chair. She says that some patients at Macquarie Street dental know they are poor flossers so they will opt to come in four times a year rather than twice.
Airflow Dental Technology begins with an assessment of my own teeth. A coloured dye is applied that darkens around areas of concentrated plaque. Noticeable takeaway? My incisors are set slightly further back than my front teeth which means they get a less thorough clean with my electric toothbrush. Karen also notes that I should keep an eye on my back molars – the deep rivets in my teeth mean to make them harder to clean and mean I will be more prone to tooth decay in that area.
Airflow Dental provides a quick, painless, even pleasant and the use of biofilm left me with a better understanding of how I can take care of my teeth at home. Karen said Airflow Dental Technology has been particularly helpful for her patients who have artificial teeth as maintenance of these requires greater sensitivity around the gum area. She also said that many older people, who have more sensitive teeth and gums find the procedure far more comfortable and are thus less likely to postpone their dental check-ups.
Karen feels that its crucial patients are not afraid of the dentist, as having professional eyes on your teeth can catch plaque problems before they start and prevent the need for more invasive treatments later on.
Following the Airflow treatment, my teeth are noticeably whiter and feel super smooth. I would recommend Airflow Dental Technology in the lead up to the event as it immediately makes your smile brighter.
Karen was also kind enough to bust some orthodontic myths for me.
Electric or manual toothbrushes?
For Karen, nothing beats electric. She says that when clients have made the switch it’s “like looking at a completely different mouth”. To avoid over brushing just make sure you move the toothbrush constant and grip the handle at the end to exert light pressure.
Are bleeding gums a sign of over flossing?
Rarely. People who don’t floss their teeth on a regular basis may experience bleeding gums when they do floss. Inflammation in the gums takes two weeks to build up, and it takes another two weeks to go away completely. Persevere!
How long should we actually be brushing our teeth for?
Two minutes – twice a day and make sure you are moving the brush around so no tooth gets missed – we tend to focus on specific areas.